Well, that's it for Seaview Jeep at the JSBL, as they could not withstand a barrage in the 3rd quarter that basically tired out the Jeepers (who only had 7 players last night in Belmar). Former Villanova guard Mike Nardi poured in 36 points (16 in the 3rd), and added 13 assists and 10 boards for a humongous triple-double to lead Investor's past Seaview, which got 34 from Kyle McAlarney and 35 from Pirates wing Fuquan Edwin.
In the 4th, some big turnovers by Investor's and some big shots from McAlarney kept things close, but Investor's just had too may weapons and they made their free throws down the stretch to seal it.
Aaron Cosby was not in action last night because of a reported sore knee, and neither were Brandon Mobley, Aaron Geramipoor, or Patrik Auda (who played for Investor's earlier this summer). So it was just Edwin and Sean Grennan who were there. Here's what I saw:
He was once again the best athlete on the floor, and he was ultra-aggressive in the first half with the ball, looking to score on nearly every touch. He had some nice lanes to do so in the early going, but after that, Investor's clogged the paint. That didn't stop Edwin from driving anyway, and he got a lot of fouls called from this. I hope he realizes that come Big East time, he won't get so many of those called his way.
His jumper was more erratic than it has been this summer, so I chalk it up as just "one of those nights." Defensively, he was a terror, especially off the ball, where he picked off quite a few passes leading to easy transition points. He was looking to make things happen on defense in terms of turnovers, and came up with more than a few. I have mentioned that he has bulked up, but it isn't to the point where he has lost any of the athleticism he displayed his freshman year. And he hit almost all his free throws, by the way.
Another thing I noticed was his little game-within-a-game with Rutgers forward Dane Miller. Since the two players are so similar in almost every way, it was fascinating to watch them really go at each other in the first half. In the second half, they weren't guarding each other, but everything Miller did, Edwin tried to come right back and do the same, and vice-versa. It appears that the Rutgers-Seton Hall rivalry has already intensified, which should make for some interesting matchups this year. Stay tuned.
Grennan, due to the lack of bodies and severe lack of guards Seaview had last night, started the game with McAlarney, Edwin, Colgate frosh Matt McMullen, and former UMBC big man Andrew Feeley. With McAlarney sensing the need to provide scoring (and rightfully so), Grennan was looking to pass early, and he had a couple of pretty nice ones in the early going to cutters in the lane.
After the first quarter, however, he struggled, missing several quality looks from the arc, and while he was eager and focused on defense, he was scored upon numerous times, especially by former St. Peter's guard Nick Leon. All signs point to this season being a learning process for Grennan- how to move without the ball, adding strength in the weight room, working on his footwork on defense, and learning how to make shots against taller and bigger competition than he faced in high school. The talent is there- when Grennan has the ball in his hands, he is a very skilled player. But he's gotten lost in the shuffle several times in the JSBL season. In time, with his skill and his shot, he will be a decent player for Seton Hall, but it won't happen right away.
Since Seaview is now out of the playoffs, that's the last of the Pirates that we'll see until the season starts. There is cause for optimism, Pirate fans. These frosh can play, and the returnees have certainly improved. Stay the course with South Orange Juice for all your offseason (and in-season) Pirate hoops analysis!